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Oil Rally Undeterred By Bearish News

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading lower on Friday, but are still up for the week. This week’s rally is being fueled by a combination of a bullish technical chart pattern and mixed-to-bullish fundamentals.

The technical chart pattern is pretty clear. After erasing the “war premium”, bullish traders found value at $92.20. Now they are looking for a fundamental event that could launch a breakout to the upside.

The fundamentals are mixed, but still leaning toward the bullish side. The theme this past week has centered on supply. Early in the week, bullish traders bet on a pipeline disruption at the Kazakhstan CPC crude terminal and the possible imposition of an oil embargo on Russia.

However, as the week progressed, news of a partial export resumption from Kazakhstan’s CPC crude terminal and split vote on whether to embargo Russian oil began to weigh on prices.

Additional bearish factors also began to pile up with traders starting to price in a potential nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, which could lead to the release of more supply. Prices were also pressured by the potential for another coordinated release of oil from storage by the United States and its allies to calm oil markets.

In another potentially bearish development, responding to market volatility, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) raised margins for Brent futures by 19% for the May contract from Friday, the third rise this year.


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